Astrophysics (Index)About

main-sequence lifetime

(MS lifetime, stellar lifetime)
(length of time that a star remains within the main sequence)

The main-sequence lifetime of a star is largely determined by its mass, with metallicity also taking a role (an aspect of the Vogt-Russell theorem). Rotation also takes a role and interaction with a binary-star companion can take a substantial role in cases where it occurs. The typical lifetime (with no such interaction) varies from millions of years (for the most massive) to trillions (for those with barely enough mass for hydrogen burning). A star's lifetime before becoming a stellar remnant is primarily this time, and the term stellar lifetime may be used like a synonym. A very rough estimate of a star's main-sequence lifetime based upon its mass is:

τ = 1010 (MSun/M)2.5

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
A-type star (A)
B-type star (B)
F-type star (F)
G-type star (G)
K-type star (K)
M-type star (M)
O-type star (O)
post-main-sequence star
turn-off point (TO)